Iron Fist Brewing Company

Iron Fist Brewing CompanyIron Fist Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar

1305 Hot Springs Way #101
Vista, California, 92081
United States

(760) 216-6500 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by HalfFull on 09-12-2010

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 57
Photo of cducap
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Very friendly staff and a cool atmosphere. Was in town on business and hung at the bar and talked with staff and regulars for a couple hours. Recommended.

 156 characters

Photo of BigTexJon
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Very dog friendly, Good beer selection, Casual atmosphere, different foodies almost everyday.

Not a fan of bitter beers and this place is a good match for me. a couple are sweet but most are either farmhouse or IPAS

 217 characters

Photo of fox227
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

I had high expectations for Iron Fist, even though I've only had a few of their beers, they seem like a brewery that their stuff together and is on a very professional level. The tasting room is nice and open, with plenty of seating, which was good because there was a decent sized crowd, the space is nicely themed, albeit with moderation.

The beers available were their regular line up plus three special brewery only beers, which was excellent to see AND drink; I had Nelson the Impaler with Citra infused from a Randall, and also their Velvet Glove Imperial Stout with Vanilla and Brandy. Both were excellent beers.

My point in praise departure begins with service issues. The first beer I waited about fifteen minutes for, with three servers staffed. I just didn't get the impression that they were moving very fast to keep up with the demand. Later on, there were far fewer patrons at the bar and my girlfriend stood there for about five minutes and was never acknowledged, so gave up and decided that she didn't want a beer after all. The second beer took me forever to get... There was one server in particular who seemed clueless. The patron in front of me asked for a Velvet Glove and she seemed confused as to what that was, even though it's a regular beer for them. I thought, "great, and I want the special version." Sure enough, I asked for the special version of the stout and she was very confused. I figured out what tap it was on by looking at post it notes above them, so I had to point it out for her. I decided immediately to close my tab rather than wait for another ordeal. Then my bill was wrong, by double! I had to talk to another server to correct the mistake, and at least she was very nice.

 1,723 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
4.18/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Visited as part of a North County brewery tour, Iron Fist is a friendly place. There was plenty of space on a Friday afternoon at about 4pm, but the tasting area had filled significantly by the time we left an hour later. Iron Fist offers 4 oz tasters as well as full pours, with a good roster of selections to chose from. Having been a fan of their Velvet Glove, I now add Uprising, a Belgian IPA, to my list of favorites.

As do many other breweries in SD County, Iron Fist will have either a food truck or a tent to provide patrons with food. Grab a plate and make an afternoon of it!

 587 characters

Photo of claspada
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Two room tasting room/bar that was really really crowded when I was there.

I got the sampler and I was pretty disappointed. I only sampled beers that they don't bottle because why would I buy those at the tasting room.

All the beers were really Belgian yeast forward and muddled to be honest. I like how they try new ingredients but some were just plain bad. I don't think I finished any of the sampler beers which says a lot considering how much I love beer.

I think they need to dial it in a bit more or make some more concise decisions. Also they have a credit card minimum which is a joke.

Service was spotty because of the business so I can't judge there.

 664 characters

Photo of ostey
4.87/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

This is my favorite place in San Diego North County, and that is saying something because there are a ton of micro-breweries here. The beer is fantastic, the people are always friendly, and I have never been disappointed.

They have the best selection of Belgian style brews along with some other standard craft brews like their stout and blonde, but the best are the Belgians. Saisons, double IPAs, golden ales, dubbles, tripples, farmhouse. The only thing missing is a kriek or sour.

 486 characters

Photo of ALBuff
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Sizeable warehouse space with plenty of room for social gatherings, or to quietly enjoy a decent beer. Not a great layout, nor particularly warming, but the friendly and likable staff more than makes up for impersonal setting. Vibrant Friday night scene, and surprisingly crowded during the Sunday game as well.

 311 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.3/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I'll start off by saying that after 3 days of visiting SoCal microbrews recently, Iron Fist has suddenly jumped into my top 5 brewery list. All-round amazing stuff from what I assume is the youngest commercial brewer in the country.

Poured concrete floor, warehouse-style environment. This is definately a brewery and not a bar, club, or restaurant. In fact, the only food is from a different food truck that parks out in the lot each day.

The good part of that is it means they are concentrating on the beer and not the other crap. I loved the beer here and wholeheartedly encourage folks to go. I would spend a lot of time if I lived in San Diego.

 652 characters

Photo of John_Deas
4.3/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Iron Fist is a good place to get a fresh draft in the Vista-Carlsbad area of North County San Diego. On tap is a decent selection of house beers. Average prices of about $5/pint as of December 2012. Beer is served in a plain glass at about 55 degrees (my guess).

Typical micro brewery ambiance. Standing room with stools and round tables. About 5 well-behaved patrons were there on Christmas Eve (weekday afternoon).

Limited parking is available in the industrial park's lot. It's easy to get there off Sycamore from either 78 of Palomar Airport Road and to find with GPS.

 574 characters

Photo of Luke42179
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I love this place. I've always had a great experience. They actually have some seating which is rare for these roll up door warehouse breweries. Family run, which always is better. And have and interesting story to boot. Basically a young kid is the brewer (early 20's I think) and he eschews some traditional approaches to brewing with excellent results IMHO. Family decided to not only back him but work there too!. quality is very good and they have a good selection of strong traditional flavors. Good taster deal at $5 for 4 decent little pours of high test if you want. Often have a gourmet food truck of some kind outside. Highly recommended.

 649 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

My wife and I visited Iron Fist since we were doing a brewery crawl of sorts in the area. Again, this is another tasting room in a warehouse where they do the brewing. There is a small bar area where you can order and sit plus a bunch of barrel tables and chairs around the space as well. They had big sheets of paper on the wall for people to graffiti if you so wish. Service was pretty good but it was pretty busy due to a bus tour of local breweries. They had 8 or so offerings on tap and the quality of all the beers I tried was very good. They offer bottles for sale to go as well. Overall, this is a pretty cool place to check out if you are in search for some good beer in the area.

 689 characters

Photo of bradybeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited yesterday with my wife and brother and sister in-law. Located in Vista almost on the border of Carlsbad.

Walking in there is a small bar to the left and the brewing operation to the right.

Atmosphere was very good. We arrived at a little after 3pm when they opened and by the time we left at 4pm they were packed.

IF brews mostly Belgian Style beers (3 on tap when we were there), but they had a a crazy good Saison, Imperial Stout, Koosch, and double IPA on when we were there.

Service was very good considering how many folks were there.

1 sampler, 5 large pours, a bottle of Saison to go, and a pint glass for less than $40.

Next time we are down to visit family we will stop by.

 696 characters

Photo of Retsinis
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

First stop of a small San Diego trip with my wife. Tasting room opened at Noon, and we were the first customers (we got there early, killed 30 mintutes, and came back at noon sharp hehe)

The place is at the top of a small hill, in a corner of fairly new industrial park. The brewery itself has huge vaulted ceilings, probably 50 to 100 feet high would be my best guess, given the space a very large feel to it.

The tasting area was setup well, with a several glossy menus's printed out with what was on tap. Along with several beer coasters that also had a number of the beers on them as well. There were a few pictures of their contruction, articles, and family framed on the walls of the tasting area. There are also a few bar chairs setup around barrels, and some large customer created art work along a back wall. The place was also very clean. I've been to a few of breweries now with this type of setup, and I like the atmosphere & quality of the space a lot.

The tasters were $5 for 4 tasters. We did two, allowing us try all of the beers they were serving that day (There were 7 in all) They also had some pretzels to go with the tasters, which was nice. Got to meet the Mother of the owner who was very nice and informative. Looks like they will be bottling a "Dark Day's" barrel Aged Imperial stout in two months or less, as well a Barrel Aged sour, "The Resistance"

The beers were all decent to above average, some better then others (velvet glove for example). I liked the Gaunlet IPA, as well as the Velvet Glove RIS stout, my wife really liked the Golden Tripel, but they were sold out of bottles of that. Wanted to get a growler, but those were also out of stock. I did get to see them, as a customer walked in with two to fill. They are the really nice growlers, with a pewter handle, and ceramic flip top. Looked like both handles were different too. A bit pricey though, $30 a growler empty, but only $5 for your first fill at least helps with the intial sting.

All in all, this was a great first stop though, I recomend it if your in the area.

 2,070 characters

Photo of Lakes
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Went there with friends while in SD on business.

Typical So Cal micro atmosphere. Light industrial space with the roll up door open as the entrance. Brewhouse in the back of the space and tasting up front.

The beers, which I'm not going to rate, were very good for the style. These guys brew some very spicy, very Belgian-y beers. If you are looking for Saisons or Witbiers, this is your destination.

I hope they make it because they are doing a good job and seem to be genuinely nice folks. The beers are bold and may be a bit ahead of the local crowd.

 558 characters

Photo of NickMunford
4.14/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I went there today with my wife. After trying a couple of their bottled beers last weekend, we both felt it would be worth the drive up to visit the brewery.

It's in the corner of an industrial complex, and they have a big loading dock style roll-up door which allows a view of the tasting room and brewery behind when open.

We walked in and were pleasantly greeted by the head brewer's mother (I think she said she was his mother), who was very nice and told us about their beers and operation while we enjoyed a couple flights.

They had all of their current beers on tap (7), and all are very good. It was $5 for a flight of 4 tasters. I was hoping to get a growler, but they sold out and the current weather delayed their latest shipment. That's okay though. It'll give me a good reason to go back.

 806 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.98/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited 1/15/2011 with gobzilla.

Very large place hidden away in an industrial park. These guys must have started with a good sized budget judging by the size of the equipment. There are some tables and a long bar in front of the keg fridge. In the back is where the brewing and bottling equipment is.

This is a family operation for the most part. Two brothers and both parents were there. I had a good time sampling the beers and talking to the Polish mother in German. Everyone is really nice and accomodating. The brewer told us about his plans for some of the barrels and upcoming releases.

They had 6 beers on at that time and it sounds like they rotate beers regularly. I will be coming back at some point to see what's new. Actually I may go this weekend after Winter Storm.

They also sell bottles to go, but you can find them in some local shops as well.

 869 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.7/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

Pretty much the normal type of brewery in san diego which is located in a business park with at least a pretty decent bar area and seating area as well. Good amount of people were chillin considering how new they are to the SD beer scene and was quite nice and brand new. The brewery employees were very nice in helping us with any beer info and graciously showed us the whole brewery and packaging area. They had a small selection with only house brews and no guest taps but the quality was average. Can't wait to see how their barrel aged offeerings will come out since they'll be maturing for a little under a year. Good luck to the iron fist brewing co definitely getting off on the right foot.

 698 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.86/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here on Sunday with my good friend, Justin (JustinA1 on BA). This was the fourth stop of our San Diego beer crawl, following Ballast Point, Holiday Wine Cellar, and The Lost Abbey (in that order).

Of the several warehouse-brewery-tasting-room-bars we stopped at, this was by far the cleanest and brightest. The high ceilings and wide walkways gave it a very open, airy feel as well. The decor, though sparse, strove for the modern industrial look that's oh so trendy at the moment.

Iron Fist only had six beers on-tap, and we ended up trying five of them: Dubbel Fisted, Golden Age, Hired Hand, The Gauntlet, and an imperial oatmeal stout whose name escapes me. They were all true to style and good - nothing too risky yet. That said, there was a sign saying their first bourbon barrel-aged barley wine and first wild ale would be available in the spring. Get pumped!

We ended up chatting with the bartenders and some UCR grad students for the hour or so that we were there. It was very comfortable.

I'm expecting big things from these guys. I can't wait to visit again in a year or so!

 1,101 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped in here prior to the Lost Abbey Barrel Night as I wanted to make the drive to San Diego worth my while. Plus, these guys had opened up not long before and I wanted to check them out.

The brewery is located in sort of a secluded part of a business park, almost all the way in the back corner. They have a pretty decent open space with some tables along with a bar along with stools. All the beers are listed on a chalk board along with some "coming soon" and other brewery news, which was nice.

They had five beers on-tap, almost all Belgian styles with the exception of their kolsch. The beers were okay for the most part. Nothing that really wowed me, but none were just flat out awful either.

All of the people working their were incredibly nice. From my brief conversation, it seemed like it was a family operation with the owner being a Polish fellow and his wife helping him out.

These guys also seemed to have learned what people go nuts for quite early on. They already have a barrel aged imperial stout (in Brandy barrels, I believe), and a "wild" barrel aged Saison.

Could be interesting to see what these guys do. I'll have to come back at some point.

 1,176 characters

Iron Fist Brewing Company in Vista, CA
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,125 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.